By Pr. Rhoda Kelin Miller
Have you seen the Barge On The Beach? Not Bard on the Beach, the tented Shakespearan theatre at Vanier Park but the celebrity vessel grounded at Sunset Beach. It continues to draw a lot of attention for the dramatic impact on the landscape. As impressive as it is, Noah’s Ark would have been about 70% longer.
Watching the barge drift chaotically on the choppy waves in English Bay it wasn’t hard to imagine what a rough ride it would have been for the Ark’s passengers. The recent storm that unmoored this barge lasted a few days but in the book of Genesis the torrential rains fell for 40 days. The God-given blueprints of this ship were to ensure safety, not luxury for its inhabitants. It’s clear the craftsmanship of this ship alone was not the reason for its success.
Supernatural forces held the floating zoo together. The Ark harboured the ancestral parents of every living creature and eight humans who would reset a society built on trust in God’s power alone. When the water receded and plants began to grow it was time to get off the boat. It was a temporary refuge and it served its purpose. God seems to revisit this point of a boat’s limitation to protect and save in the accounts of Jonah and Jesus calming the sea. Again in Acts 27 we read about Paul, a prisoner aboard a ship bound for Rome stuck in a nasty winter squall.
When the crew attempts to leave on lifeboats Paul warns unless they remain on board together they will die. But after the ship grounds on a sandbar and the waves begin to batter it to pieces they have no choice but to swim ashore. Sometimes you might have to board the boat to find salvation but at times we have to abandon ship to fully realize the power of deliverance is in Jesus’ hands alone.